Analysis of theta power in hippocampal EEG during bar pressing and running behavior in rats during distinct behavioral contexts

Bradley P. Wyble, James M. Hyman, Christina A. Rossi, Michael E. Hasselmo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


These experiments examine changes in theta power as measured by wavelet analysis in five rats performing a conditional visual discrimination task and a simple running task. In the conditional task, rats were trained to press one lever to initiate a trial and then to press one of two choice levers, each corresponding to one of two cue lights. Analysis of theta power in this operant task found a large decrease in theta power during the choice bar presses, in contrast to the increase in theta power during trial initiation bar presses. This result seems to stand counter to results that propose consistent relationships between motor actions and theta power (Vanderwolf, EEG Clin Neurophys 26:407-418, 1969), as well as studies suggesting that the lack of bar-press theta is the result of habituation. However, these data can be seen as being in broad agreement with the theoretical framework of sensorimotor integration (Bland and Oddie, Behav Brain Res 127:119-136, 2001). To investigate further the power of theta observed at the termination of type 1 motor activity, a runway task was devised in which rats ran back and forth between two ends of a linear track, one of which was always rewarded and the other never rewarded. Theta power decreased sharply 240 ms before movement ended at the rewarded end, but not at the unrewarded end of the track. These data extend the current scope of theory in demonstrating that hippocampal theta activity can end abruptly 200-400 ms prior to the end of type 1 motor movement when approaching the end of a motor sequence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-674
Number of pages13
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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